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Victorian Critics of Democracy

Carlyle, Ruskin, Arnold, Stephen, Maine, Lecky

Author:

Benjamin E. Lippincott

Victorian Critics of Democracy

One result of reading Professor Lippincott’s book will be, in the case of many readers, an inquiry as to why such an illuminating study has not been made before. The Victorian “literature of protest” has all too often been regarded as coming merely from the left. To be sure, every manual of English literary history has something to say about the “Victorian prophets’ attack on democracy.” But it has remained for a member of the department of political science of the University of Minnesota to analyze with unusual keenness and balance of judgment the role played by Carlyle, Ruskin, and Matthew Arnold in nineteenth-century struggles with democratic dogma. His examination of James Fitzjames Stephan, and of Maine and Lecky, gives his book exceptional richness, since Lecky and Stephen are undeservedly neglected in many discussions of Professor Lippincott’s subject. In addition to the virtues of scope and acuteness of analysis, the author’s treatment is marked by that rare virtue in present-day scholarly works: the courage to evaluate. - Charles Frederick Harrold. Michigan State Normal College

-JSTOR: Modern Philology, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Feb. 1939). pp. 328-330

Victorian Critics of Democracy

Benjamin Evans Lippincott was a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota.

Victorian Critics of Democracy

One result of reading Professor Lippincott’s book will be, in the case of many readers, an inquiry as to why such an illuminating study has not been made before. The Victorian “literature of protest” has all too often been regarded as coming merely from the left. To be sure, every manual of English literary history has something to say about the “Victorian prophets’ attack on democracy.” But it has remained for a member of the department of political science of the University of Minnesota to analyze with unusual keenness and balance of judgment the role played by Carlyle, Ruskin, and Matthew Arnold in nineteenth-century struggles with democratic dogma. His examination of James Fitzjames Stephan, and of Maine and Lecky, gives his book exceptional richness, since Lecky and Stephen are undeservedly neglected in many discussions of Professor Lippincott’s subject. In addition to the virtues of scope and acuteness of analysis, the author’s treatment is marked by that rare virtue in present-day scholarly works: the courage to evaluate. - Charles Frederick Harrold. Michigan State Normal College

-JSTOR: Modern Philology, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Feb. 1939). pp. 328-330